Prior to his death, Los Angeles’ Sunday night talk show host Terry Anderson used to open his broadcast with a heads up to his listeners: “If you ain’t mad, you ain’t paying attention.”
Most Americans are paying attention to the wide-open Southwest border, and the Afghan nationals’ influx. But, to use Anderson’s vernacular, Americans ain’t paying enough attention, and they ain’t angry enough.
The combination of an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants that will cross the Southwest border this year, a minimum of 50,000 Afghans, and the probability of an increase in the FY 2022 refugee admissions cap that President Biden promised to raise to 125,000 from President Trump’s 15,000 will dramatically alter the nation’s demographics, and might, over time, forever restructure America.
Some will reject as alarmist the claim that Biden’s refusal to enforce existing immigration law will lead to America’s demise. But, as Anderson prophetically warned, pay attention. The border crossers, the Afghans and the resettled refugees – whatever number they end up being – are here permanently.
The new arrivals will soon receive lawful standing either through parole, temporary protected status or asylum petitions. To pretend that the Biden administration isn’t 100 percent committed to legalizing the border crossers and evacuated Afghans – refugees admitted under the Refugee Act of 1980 guidelines are lawfully present – is to have been dozing since Inauguration Day, January 20, 2021.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki asserts that the arriving Afghans have been carefully vetted, that they’re U.S. allies who fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the U.S. against the Taliban, and that some hold Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also insists arrivals will undergo “careful screening and security vetting.”
But the State Department in its second quarter FY 2021 report that recounted SIV issuance procedures found that the processing time is 703 days which means that U.S. officials cannot possibly have properly vetted most of the 24,000 already arrived Afghans. Moreover, State and Homeland Security Departments data from January through March showed that Afghan SIV denial rates hit 84 percent; 137 SIVs were approved, while 728 were denied. Rejected were those whose service doesn’t meet the SIV bar, and they appealed. The State Department said that of the 713 appeals filed during the second quarter, 601 were denied again.
Here’s where the U.S. actually is vis-à-vis Afghan resettlement. DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas refuses to say how many Afghans will ultimately resettle in the U.S. Those that are often officially referred to as SIV holders are in fact SIV applicants with, based on the State Department’s second quarter 84 percent denial rate, little chance of approval. Most of the arrivals have no approved visa of any type, cannot be accurately classified as refugees, and are therefore ineligible for social services, including Medicaid and cash assistance that they’ll rely on during their initial resettlement, and beyond.
Mayorkas has granted many Afghan arrivals humanitarian parole, an immigrant status that, unlike civilian parole, has no supervisory officer. Paroled Afghans come and go freely from their temporary military housing. But parole doesn’t include Supplemental Security Income, food stamps, employment assistance and medical service. To correct what it views as unfair, the State Department began an Afghan Parolee Support Program. According to multiple resettlement officials involved in drafting the plan, parolees will be helped with taxpayer-funded housing, transportation, food, cash, clothing, legal counsel and other services.
Over the short-term, the millions of foreign nationals that have illegally crossed the Southwest border, the Afghan evacuees, and the soon-to-be resettled FY2022 refugees will receive lifetime valid employment authorization that will allow them to compete in the U.S. labor market to the detriment of American workers and recent college graduates. With between 5 and 6 million unemployed Americans, looser labor markets hurt job seekers.
Over the longer term, chain migration will allow the thousands of Afghans as well as the border surgers and the new refugees to petition extended family members. Princeton University immigration scholars found that the average immigrant sponsors 3.45 nuclear and nonnuclear family relatives, a multiplier that creates a population boom.
The Biden administration is either clueless about the adverse effect of its immigration enthusiasm on citizens’ futures or, more likely, is indifferent to sovereign America.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.